More and more customers prefer sustainable products. Rami Avidan is convinced that the Internet of Things (IoT) is an important lever in the fight against the climate crisis. Because IoT contributes to climate protection and the responsible use of resources. We ask Rami Avidan about his view on sustainability with IoT.
How do you want to make the world more sustainable with IoT?
Rami Avidan: Honestly the fight on climate is broad and there are many different aspects that needs to come together where IoT obviously is an important lever. I see two areas where IoT can have a very large impact on the environment: IoT can help to reduce emissions from a great deal of different areas by optimizing processes. By using less of the worlds resources in moving from linear business models to circular business models, we can help to make the world more sustainable. It’s about a fundamental change in our actions, towards a cycle-oriented economy. Today we can produce things that are much more durable and sustainable. And at the end of the life cycle, we could recycle most of the components. This would enable us to make better use of the resources in our world. With a circular business model, we can re-use our available resources and thus utilize them for a much longer time. Just to mention a few examples: the sustainable smartphone cycle that Deutsche Telekom offers for selected devices. Those devices will be professionally prepared and can then be offered again at an attractive price.
What are your three top IoT solutions to protect the environment?
Avidan: There are obviously many areas of IoT that would help with this. If I was forced to pick three, from where we are standing today, it would be a solution which optimizes routes and predictive maintenance for vehicles in the first place. There are many ways for logistics companies to obtain transparency about a possible optimization of their supply chain in favor of climate protection. Electronic freight documents can replace paper printouts, telematics solutions reduce fuel consumption through improved route guidance, tracking solutions analyze driving styles, calculate exact arrival times and provide additional information about upcoming maintenance.
The second IoT soluion for me would be one that optimizes building automation with a focus on energy consumption. Our „Building Monitoring & Analytics“ solution is a good example for that. Sensors can be used to measure CO2 levels, movement and temperature in rooms, thus providing transparency about energy consumption, room use and air quality. This helps to save costs and enables a more positive environmental balance. "Building Monitoring & Analytics" was recently awarded the Green Magenta label as the first IoT product. Deutsche Telekom uses this label to identify particularly environmentally or socially sustainable offerings.
The third solution is about reducing food waste. Today we destroy about 30 percent of the food produced worldwide. IoT can make a valuable contribution here. Food such as fruit, vegetables, fish and dairy products must be transported and stored in a cool place. A tracker monitors the cold chain and provides information about the condition of the goods. It determines the location, measures the temperature and registers vibrations and if necessary, the tracker readjusts the temperature. A supermarket for example would have around seven percent less loss due to spoiled food because of an IoT solution like that.
“IoT reduces food waste by 7 %”
As CEO of DT IoT, what do you wish for when you look five years into the future?
Avidan: I think that for IoT to be able to have the environmental impact that it is envisaged to bring, there are a couple of things I would love to see happening:
1. Standardization on technology especially around interoperability: It needs to be simpler to join technologies together as IoT is “systems of systems”. Digitization is a system of systems where different technologies are working together. IoT only fully develops its strength when systems can communicate with each other without disruption.
2. Harmonization when it comes to the regulatory landscape. Today the regulations on a global scale are widely different and are ultimately hampering global rollouts.
3. That we as IoT eco-system players have rallied around breaking down barriers for IoT adoption to a much higher degree then we have today.
4. That businesses have deployed digital strategies and made them an integral part of their corporate strategies.
5. Finally that we as the players in the industry are more focused on making the pie larger than of making our share of the pie as large as possible. Ultimately if we do this right, there will be enough business for all. We need to ensure that we collectively drive the IoT industry forward with a focus on value for our customers. I am convinced that sustainability is going to be a very important differentiator for businesses in the future.
“... make the pie larger than of making our share of the pie as large as possible”
What do you personally wish for as a father?
Avidan: I would love to be able to say to my children that I was a small, not to say tiny, part of making the world a better place. I truly believe that the IoT solutions we are creating together with our customers and partners will make the world a better place, from so many dimensions not only when it comes to sustainability. However, for this to happen we have to be able to deploy them at a greater scale then we have been able to do in the past.
What can we look forward to in 2021 in terms of sustainability?
Avidan: Corona catapulted us into the New Normal. We have experienced a rethinking in economy and society. New working models are emerging, and we travel less. This has a positive effect on CO2 values and in addition we want to use our time more efficiently, to be more productive as individuals or spend time with our loved ones. In addition, companies use resources more sustainably to create added value for customers. For example, we are working on the sustainability of selected IoT products as more and more customers prefer sustainable products. With a "we care" label, we make it easier for them to make a purchase decision. In this way, we all contribute to climate protection and responsible use of resources. I do believe that 2021 is going to be a year where a lot of businesses are still focused on regaining their balance after the pandemic, so I do believe that will be the prime focus. Having said that we already see that a lot of businesses are coming to us asking for smart building solutions as this is tightly linked to the pandemic. Being able to optimize our workplaces is going to be a large focus for 2021 and I am looking forward to Deutsche Telekom playing a significant role here.